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Let’s start getting excited about Marcus Davenport

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Back-to-back first round pass rushers, anyone?

NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 10 Louisiana Tech at UTSA Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images

There are a lot of directions the Dallas Cowboys can go when they’re on the clock with the 19th pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

As cliche as it sounds, they really can take the best player available. This is a different feeling as opposed to a year ago when it felt like Dallas had to exit the first night with a pass rusher or defensive back.

Ultimately the Cowboys ordered up Taco Charlton and addressed the secondary later. If you poll fans on where they should go this year you get answers ranging from linebacker, to wide receiver, to pass rusher, to safety. It’s an interesting dynamic.

We’ve been talking about various prospects and the Senior Bowl has provided us better glimpses at them so far this week (the game itself will be fun). Names like Roquan Smith and Calvin Ridley have stood out because of where they played, but it’s time to focus on a smaller-school product, UTSA’s Marcus Davenport.

Davenport’s stock has risen over the draft process, but he really popped earlier this week when Daniel Jeremiah projected him to go seventh overall to the Buccaneers.

Davenport reminds me of Ziggy Ansah coming out of BYU, and the Bucs need to add some life to their pass rush.

Dallas currently has an interesting set of pass rushers in DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, and the aforementioned Taco Charlton, playing defensvie end. Adding Davenport to that rotation could create a pass rush that Rod Marinelli would like.

Marcus is, to be quite frank, a defensive monster. His 6’7” size is too much for most offensive tackles to handle, and he seemingly always finds a way to disrupt whatever’s going on in front of him.

Leading up to this point many have questioned Davenport because of the fact that he hails from UT-San Antonio, it’s not like he was going against SEC competition every week. This is why the Senior Bowl is big for him as it’s an opportunity to show he can hang with the best of the best, and he’s carrying his weight so far.

Dallas is going to enter contract talks with DeMarcus Lawrence this offseason, and who knows where that goes. It could lead to a long-term deal, or it could lead to Lawrence getting hit with the tag. Whatever the case, he’s not going anywhere.

It’s what’s behind Lawrence on the depth chart that is interesting. Obviously there’s Taco who is theoretically going to grow into a larger role, but what about Tyrone Crawford?

Tyrone has finally sort of settled into a position (which took long enough) along the Cowboys defensive line, but his contract has always been an issue considering his level of production. If the Cowboys drafted Davenport they’d have Lawrence and two young up-and-comers to help them rush the passer.

All of this of course is hypothetical considering Davenport’s latest stock (7th overall). We’re still very early in the draft process, things always change, and there’s a possibility that Davenport is there when the Cowboys pick. Quality pass rushers are a rarity, and it seems like Davenport will indeed be one.